David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
As a student of leadership, I am always looking for tips on communicating because it is a crucial tool for a successful leader. You can’t lead if you can’t communicate with people. The last United States President to win in a landslide was Ronald Reagan, who captured 525 electoral votes to Walter Mondale’s 13. Reagan won 49 of our 50 states and was known as the Great Communicator. He understood how to draw people to his vision. So how do great communicators do it? I’ve found seven things great communicators do regularly.
Great Communicators start with affirming the people they are speaking with. They look for things that people are doing well. Activities and skills that can be built upon for even greater achievements and success. By being affirming, great communicators tap into people’s self-esteem and encourage it.
Great Communicators search for things that people can relate to. They reveal connections between where they would like to lead the group and things the group already knows.
Great Communicators take the time to enlarge people’s view of the vision. They take the time to see where people are in their understanding and then craft a message that expands that understanding.
Great Communicators do something that is tragically missing today—they use inclusive language. They put in the effort to shape the conversation in a way that draws people in and together, rather than dividing and capitalizing on the chaos.
Great Communicators offer encouragement and hope. This is much more than a “positive” message. It builds upon the past, reveals what people have been through, and connects those two items with a future that inspires the effort needed.
Great Communicators understand the need for anchoring their message with things from the past. This needs to be personal for each person. Family history, corporate history, regional history, anything that is familiar to the person. This process takes time and should be seen as an investment in the future.
Lastly, great communicators always have a call to action. They give specific steps and actions that people can take to move toward the overall goal. Without this critical step, inspired people are soon discouraged because they can’t act on their inspiration. When this occurs, all the hard work put into the first six steps is wasted.
If you would like to hear ideas related to implementing these steps, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 230 of The Next Page Podcast as we discuss how we have seen communicators succeed and fail in the past.